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Breakpoint 2023: How Solana Empowers Consumer Data Sovereignty

Hugh Rhodes of Friday discusses how Solana blockchain can reshape consumer data control and privacy.

The notes below are AI generated and may not be 100% accurate. Watch the video to be sure!


In a world where personal data is likened to oil due to its value and difficulty to access and process, Hugh Rhodes, the co-founder and CEO of Friday, addresses a crucial aspect of the digital age: data sovereignty. He argues that the public's control over their own data has been stifled by the complex agreements with tech giants like Facebook and Google. However, significant legal strides in Europe with GDPR and in California with CPPA, are leading to a shift in power towards the consumer. Rhodes asserts that the true value of data is realized not in its raw state but when it is processed into personalized offers and services. He believes that the Solana blockchain is the key to unlocking this potential, providing the technology necessary to give users an unprecedented level of control over their data.

Key Points:

Understanding Consumer Data Rights

Rhodes begins with a history lesson, drawing parallels between the Homestead Act of 1862, which empowered Americans with land ownership rights, and modern data protection laws like GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act that seek to empower individuals with ownership of their data. He clarifies that these laws provide people with rights over their personal data, such as data portability, the ability to stop the sale of their data, and most importantly, the right to be erased entirely from a company's records.

The Value in Your Data

Highlighting the immense potential value in consumer data, Rhodes touches upon the disparity between the raw data that credit bureaus sell and the monetization possibilities when that same data is turned into targeted offers. He points out that people have been fixated on making money directly from their data, which is ineffective since real value is derived from the applications and services created from the processed data.

Solana: The Key to Data Sovereignty

Rhodes then pivots to discuss how Solana's blockchain technology enables a solution to these issues. Storing data off-chain, encrypted on a user’s device, and representing it to Web3 through a non-transferable NFT (Non-Fungible Token) allows users to control who accesses their data without actually transferring ownership. Additionally, Solana's capability to mint a compressed NFT for accessible data logs and use single-use key pairs enhances user control, fulfilling the potential for rights like the right to be forgotten.

Facts + Figures

  • Hugh Rhodes, co-founder and CEO of Friday, discusses the importance of owning your data and how Solana enables this.
  • GDPR negates previous agreements signed with big tech companies, granting individuals data sovereignty.
  • The California Consumer Privacy Act, along with GDPR, has set a standard in consumer data rights.
  • Data has a 62x multiple from its raw state to when it's turned into offers.
  • The concept of personally identifiable information (PII) includes unique identifiers like a home address or a mobile ad ID.
  • Solana's blockchain facilitates storing data off-chain and securely representing it online through a non-transferable NFT system.
  • Friday, Hugh's company, has developed an app that functions using Solana's unique capabilities, which allows users to control their personal data.

Top quotes

  • "The question is why hasn't it happened? Until now. And the answer is because it is, in fact, only possible on Solana."
  • "If you've done business with an entity or if anybody has your personal data, you have the right to make them erase it like you were never there."
  • "Your name is not PII. Other people can have your name. But your home address combined with your name could be."
  • "It's only when it's turned into offers, discovery, promotions, things that you want that you get the real value of the data."
  • "This is how we approach this: First, your data stored on device, off chain, encrypted and secured, it's yours."
  • "Even if you don't want to take it, you have the right to know what they know about you."
  • "Every time the data is accessed, we mint the compressed NFT, you get an immutable log, not of the actual data of the access."
  • "You are the first people who have ever seen this. You are the first people who can download it outside of our small team at Friday."

Questions Answered

Who is Hugh Rhodes?

Hugh Rhodes is the co-founder and CEO of Friday, a company focused on leveraging Solana's blockchain technology to empower users with sovereignty over their own data.

What problems do current data privacy laws solve?

Current data privacy laws like GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act negate previous data ownership agreements with big tech companies, affording consumers more control over their personal data, including the rights to data portability, to halt the sale of their data, and to be forgotten from records entirely.

Why is Solana blockchain pivotal for consumer data sovereignty?

Solana's blockchain technology is essential for consumer data sovereignty because it allows the storage of personal data off-chain and encrypted, the creation of non-transferable NFTs representing this data online, and the capacity for users to fully control and monitor access to their data.

How does the Friday app work?

The Friday app enables users to easily access and take ownership of their data from services like Spotify and Netflix. It utilizes Solana's blockchain technology to generate compressed, non-transferable NFTs to represent data and offers personalized services like a personal concierge based on the users’ preferences.

How does the right to be forgotten function within Solana's ecosystem?

In Solana's ecosystem, the right to be forgotten can be employed through single-use key pairs. By using a child wallet for signing, the ability to be traced back is eliminated, and the user can simply burn the key pair to erase their data footprint for certain activities.